Tuesday, August 15, 2023 6:14 am
Paul Lynn Eldridge 1931-2014
Submitted by Nancy Eldridge (with loving help from my sisters and my cousin)
My dad was born on Halloween to Kenneth and Margaret (Cowie) Eldridge in Sioux Falls, S.D. His sister, Patti,
may have seen this as hope for an interesting existence despite the worries of the Great Depression. Paul’s middle
name, Lynn, came from his Grandpa Eldridge who lived with his wife Marcia on a farm and provided the family
with vegetables during the hard times. My grandma did farm style cooking and her lemon meringue pies were
In high school, his Patti made a roast with all the fixings, got out the food coloring and changed the color of
everything, including the lemon (now green) meringue pie. My dad told us, his friends and our friends the story with
great relish. Dad could not eat the pie. Of course, there was pay-back. One occasion, Dad licked his lips while sitting
next to Patti’s empty goldfish bowl as she walked in the front door. Another time, Patti’s first date came on the porch
to four boys cleaning their guns from pheasant hunting, staring at him–wordlessly dour.
Paul graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, got his MBA from the University of South Dakota, served in
Colorado Springs in the Air Force, and in 1960 married my mom. We moved to Livonia, Michigan where he worked
for Ford Motor Company. He adopted three girls, my sisters, Susan and Janis and myself, and was a part of our
school lives, our confirmation lives and our friends’ lives. He would tell our friends about growing up on the prairies
with the buffalo and then ask them if they knew how buffalo sounded. With big eyes, shaking their heads, they
would affirm that they had never known what a buffalo sounds like, much less a whole buffalo herd. He would look
over his glasses and very seriously say, “hush guppie guppie, hush guppie guppie, hush guppie guppie” moving his
arms like the front legs of a running buffalo and putting the emphasis on “hush” followed by two breat hy “guppies”
Those were the days we trusted adults so it is possible that this information was passed on to our friends’ kids.
Dad loved lengthy, pun-ish jokes. We heard them many times and would repeat them to our kids when they got
older. “I wouldn’t send a knight out on a dog like this.” “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t stow thrones” “If
the foo sh*ts, wear it.”
He relentlessly helped us write better, think better and be better. He stuck up for me when I was in college and a
slight drinking event happened. He loved and supported his nephew Brian and stuck up for his nephew Doug when
he decided to go into psychology rather than business. He survived my youngest sister and her party when she was
to have no one at the house. He came through the news of my middle sister changing fiancées after a trip to Mexico
where he enjoyed the envious looks from other men as he was with three beautiful women. He was a person who
could love and love and love.
In 1970 our family moved to Elkhart, Ind., where my dad worked for Miles Laboratories. In 1981 my dad and mom
separated. He remarried and continued to give love and support to his second wife and to all our family.
He is survived by three daughters; seven grandkids who love him as much as we do; 13 great-grandkids who hear
the stories; and his nephew Doug, his wife and their daughters.